Managing Your Fleet

Reduce emissions: Pollutants are bad for the earth – and your bottom line

4 min read

14 September 2017

Former special projects journalist

If you run a fleet and try to find ways to reduce emissions, you can help the environment and make savings at the same time.

No business wants to gain a reputation as a gas-guzzler. While modern cars can be fairly low-emission, here are some tips to getting the most efficient fleet possible.

Why do we need to reduce emissions?

Emissions from vehicles contribute to air pollution, which is an international issue – it has negative effects on human health and the environment. It’s hardly a surprise that many organisations have taken pains to lower emissions from traffic, agriculture and industrial processes.

Euro emissions standards monitor emissions of carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, un-burnt hydrocarbons and particulate matter. These pollutants are affected by factors including state of vehicle maintenance and driving conditions, as well as vehicle technology.

Modern cars in good condition only produce small quantities of air pollutants.

In addition, CO2 emissions are directly proportional to the quantity of fuel consumed by an engine – this can also be affected by various driving styles.

Why does it make good business sense to do so?

· Taxation
· Reduced fuel bills
· Reputation

Aside from simply wanting to look out for the environment, there are plenty of reasons reducing emissions makes good business sense. For example, a cheaper tax bill.

“The benefit-in-kind – the tax you pay on a company car – is entirely linked to the level of emissions of CO2 that the car produces. The lower the emissions, the lower the level of benefit-in-kind that the driver actually pays,” explained Francis Bleasdale, head of the fleet and used car department at FCA.

Of course, given that CO2 emissions are proportional to the amount of fuel burned, the more efficient the vehicle, the cheaper it is to run.

Some organisations will offer a calculator to help fleet owners work out the taxation of their vehicles.

In addition, reducing emissions means a greener reputation. Being able to demonstrate your environmentally friendly credentials is good for corporate responsibility.

How can we do it?

· Emissions of the car itself
· Vehicle maintenance
· Careful driving

It is possible to reduce emissions of a fleet in several ways. Firstly, choose vehicles with modern emissions reducing technologies, which has the added advantage of a lower benefit-in-kind price tag.

Secondly, maintaining vehicles properly and replacing spare parts as when necessary can help reduce emissions, as fine particles can be produced by tyre and brake wear.

Lastly, monitoring and analysing driver performance boosts a business’ overall carbon footprint.

“Using tracking tools, it’s possible to analyse all sorts of things – acceleration, deceleration, oil viscosity etc. to understand how a car is performing from an environmental perspective,” explained Sebastiano Fedrigo, head of Mopar, the parts and services division of FCA.

“We find what we call an ‘eco index’, from the way the car is used and the way it is behaving, and we provide this information to the fleet manager.”

This technology allows fleet owners to track specific cars, as well as specific drivers even if they switch vehicles – if there are employees driving recklessly or using up too much fuel, it will soon be noticed.

Overall, reducing emissions of fleet vehicles is a win-win situation – it is good for the environment and it makes good business sense.

Less fuel consumption means lower costs – and anything that improves your bottom line while helping build a greener reputation can only be good news.